Hickory Hollow Mall; Antioch (Nashville), Tennessee

Our second installment of hickory-themed malls in Tennessee brings us to Antioch, a neighborhood of Nashville located 10 miles southeast of downtown.  Thoroughly suburban, Antioch is home to housing developments from the post-war era to present day, with a large housing stock of starter homes intended for blue collar families.  As such, Antioch is a diverse mix of residents from many economic levels, ranging from recent immigrants to native Tennesseeans.  Recently, though, a demographic shift has brought more immigrants and minorities to Antioch than ever before, making it much more diverse.

As Antioch grew, a large, regional mall was developed in 1978 near the interchange of Bell Road and Interstate 24.  Called Hickory Hollow Mall, it was Nashville’s second super-regional mall after north-suburban Rivergate and the largest mall in the south half of metro Nashville.  It’s also only a few miles away from the much smaller and older Harding Mall, which was demolished in 2006.  Its location was somewhat strategic, taking advantage of proximity to the monied areas of south Nashville as well as being only 20 minutes from fast-growing Murfreesboro.

About the time Hickory Hollow originally opened in the late 1970s, it was anchored by Nashville-based Castner Knott, Nashville-based Cain-Sloan, and Sears.  JCPenney jumped on board in 1982, its own wing of in-line stores, giving the mall a T-shape.  The ceiling of the two-level mall is a very dated-yet-cool latticework of steel under glass, giving the mall natural light during the day.

In 1987, Cain-Sloan closed and became Dillard’s, and somewhere along the way a food court was constructed in the space connecting the Sears and JCPenney wings.

In the early 1990s, Hickory Hollow received another expansion and a facelift.  The old Dillard’s/Cain-Sloan building was demolished and moved outward, while the old location became more in-line mall space, giving the mall its signature cross shape.  This update was timely - four regional or super-regional malls opened in the Nashville area between 1990 and 1992:  Bellevue Center, located west of downtown, The Mall at Green Hills, located south of downtown, CoolSprings Galleria, located even farther south in growing Franklin and Stones River Mall, located in Murfreesboro.  Very quickly Hickory Hollow became the oldest and least convenient mall to the fast-growing and wealthy areas of metro Nashville.

In spite of the sudden onslaught of competition, Hickory Hollow held its own through the 1990s and even into the 2000s, retaining all its anchor stores until 2006 and enjoying a relatively low vacancy rate.  However, the types of stores popping up at Hickory Hollow very slowly changed from national, popular chains to urban mom-and-pop stores, athletic wear, and stores catering to a changing demographic.  Very slowly, Hickory Hollow began to decline.

Also in the late 1990s and 2000s, more anchor changes and closures took place, ultimately leaving Hickory Hollow with two of them empty by 2008.  In 1998, Castner Knott closed and was sold to Dillard’s.  Since Dillard’s already had stores in nearly every Nashville-area mall due to the Cain-Sloan acquisition in 1987, Dillard’s immediately sold the Nashville Castner Knott stores to Alcoa, Tenn.-based Proffitt’s.  Very soon, though, Proffitt’s determined the Nashville acquisitions were not profitable, and sold them to May Company in 2001, who curiously branded them as Washington, D.C.- based Hecht’s.  Why May chose to name them Hecht’s is somewhat of a mystery, considering May had far closer regional banners in Indianapolis-based L.S. Ayres and St. Louis-based Famous-Barr.

Between 2002 and 2003, Chattanooga-based CBL, Hickory Hollow Mall’s owner, decided to invest a little dough into a few upgrades in an attempt to slow the slide into obsolescence.  They added some stunning new entrances, carpeted parts of the mall, replaced railings and fixtures, and upgraded the food court.

Here’s a picture looking toward Sears from 2001, before the renovation:

And after the renovation, taken in 2010:

2006 was a pivotal year for Hickory Hollow Mall.  In the midst of its slow decline, anchor JCPenney decided to jump ship that year for a new outdoor retail development in Mt. Juliet called Providence Marketplace, which is located several miles north of Antioch along the I-40 corridor.  JCPenney wasn’t dead long, however, because Steve and Barry’s jumped in and opened almost right away.  Also in 2006, Hecht’s came under the ownership of Federated, who converted all the former May banners to Macy’s in September of that year.  Through the changes, all four anchors remained filled at Hickory Hollow Mall.

However, in the latter 2000s the decline at Hickory Hollow was further exacerbated by anchor woes as well as fleeing in-line stores.  In August 2008, Dillard’s gave up and closed their store, and in 2009 Steve and Barry’s went bankrupt nationwide, giving Hickory Hollow two dark anchors in as many years.  In addition, mini-anchor Linens ‘n Things also closed in 2008, and several more boxes on and around the outlots closed too.  Even worse, the mall’s appraisal value shrank to $30.2 million, down from $70 million in 2005.  Also, in 2009 U.S. News and World Report placed Hickory Hollow on its 10 most endangered malls list.  However, despite all these problems, Hickory Hollow was listed as being 82% leased in 2008.

As of 2010, Macy’s and Sears continue to operate at Hickory Hollow, but the ship is sinking fast.  Most of the former JCPenney corridor is completely dead, and there are notable vacancies throughout the mall.  In January 2010 alone, five national chains left the mall – Chick-Fil-A, The Childrens Place, Hot Topic, New York and Company, and Lane Bryant.  There are currently plans floating around for part of the mall to be leased by Nashville State Community College, but nothing has come to fruition yet.  In addition, plans for a WIC clinic to be added to the mall were proposed and dropped.  The city council voted against this clinic due to extreme opposition by neighborhood residents and mall patrons, who believed the clinic would kill the mall even faster than it is already dying.  Fair enough.

I think what plagues Hickory Hollow most is common to many tales of retail decline.  The neighborhood around the mall is not only perceived to be transient, but also lacking in safety.  There are even facts to support this, but what’s undoubtedly clearer is that neighborhoods with a solid base and ones which have cultivated a branding of coolness or wealth have fared far better.  The Mall At Green Hills is in one of these neighborhoods, and they just broke ground on Tennessee’s first Nordstrom.

This sullied image, combined with all the competition has given Nashville folks absolutely no reason to go to Hickory Hollow.  Because Hickory Hollow didnt reinvent or woo some coveted specialty retailer, the only people who are going to shop here are locals who live or work in the neighborhood.  Hickory Hollow may have began as one of Nashville’s premier super-regional malls, a destinational draw, but today it’s just a neighborhood center living on borrowed time in the shell of its former self.  Not a pretty picture.  One suggestion:  Ikea?   Or maybe Bass Pro?  This place is really well located right next to a major freeway, so the locational advantage is there – they just have to make the best use of it.  On the other hand, maybe retail isn’t in the cards here anymore, and a total redevelopment is in order.  I think that’s putting the cart a bit before the horse though – even though I can see the horse coming on the horizon.

We visited Hickory Hollow twice – in May 2001 and in April 2010.  Take a look at the photos before and after the mall’s 2002-2003 renovation.

May 2001:

April 2010:

51 Responses to “Hickory Hollow Mall; Antioch (Nashville), Tennessee”

  1. I remember this mall from its heyday when I lived in Nashville. Its location was not particularly close to Nashville’s wealthy areas. Those were served by Green Hills, which probably dated from the 60s— they did enhance that mall later on, but in the late 80s, it already was the shopping destination for truly well-off customers in the region. Hickory Hollow was accessible from many places, but did not really close to a coherent base of its own. The southwestern and western areas were solidily middle class, but hardly affluent. The clientele was better off than the more working class shoppers at Rivergate on the north side (actually considered “East Nashville), but basically this was a mall filled with middle of the road stores and shoppers. It was big and generic and the kind of character-bereft place that easily dies when something bigger or more interesting opens up. Hickory Hollow had a rather limited periphery of other stores which also limited its value as a destination. I seem to recall a Cub Foods (later megamarket). There may have been a Target, as well. Most of the other nearby businesses were car dealers. The immediate area was not that densely populated, so it never had the immediate base that Green Hills, Rivergate, or even Cool Springs (which is in a busy freeway corridor) had. I was a little surprised that HH was dying, but given the overmalling of Nashville and its lack of character and integration intoa real community, it’s less surprising that its days are numbered. It sounds like the kind of place that might survive as a big box center with the rest of the space converted into offices.

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  2. I love the “skeleton look” of the ceiling there. Makes it very airy and repainting it white made the mall lighter. Reminds me of Oxford Valley Mall and how the old section of Garden State Plaza used to look before the 1996 renovation.

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  3. There was a company called Mallfone that developed automated directories. The ones you get when you call a Simon or Macerich property. The first ones of these were at HH & Menlo Park.

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  4. I lived in Nashville from 1999 to 2003 as I attended college. When I visited Hickory Hollow in 1999 it was actually a pretty thriving, middle class mall. Over the next four years, the decline in the mall and the area was becoming quite apparent. The last time I ever visited Hickory Hollow in 2002 I witnessed what appeared to be a racial fight on the lower level. I decided then and there that I would never return to the mall, and I didn’t. It didn’t seem safe anymore. I did occasionally drive through the area in my car and saw more and more vacancies in the big box stores surrounding the mall. Heck, even the Cracker Barrel closed. I also noticed increasing amounts of vandalism and gang graffiti in the area (especially on the closed stores).
    Really this mall has very little future as a retail establishment. The market just isn’t there. The construction of the new shopping centers in Mt. Juliet and Murfreesboro killed the trade area. And as said in the article, Antioch is really going down hill.
    Two quick corrections to your article, CBL is not based in Nashville. It’s in Chattanooga. And Bass Pro wouldn’t locate at Hickory Hollow because they already have a store at Opry Mills.

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  5. This used to be my favorite Nashville mall. It was the largest and the best, and even though this mall had the same stores as many other malls, the stores seemed to have greater selections than in the other malls. I bought many clothes at “DJs Fashion Center For Men” there and hated it when it closed. The main corridor of this mall had a strange escalator arrangement compared to newer malls.

    I remember when Dillards closed for the conversion of its space to inline mall area. Before that, the mall was T-shaped. Castner-Knott did an expansion to the front of their store (that faces southward) at one point.

    Consolidated Theatres opened the Mall Cinemas (in or attached to the mall) August 11, 1978. The operation was taken over by Carmike Cinemas in late 1989 or early 1990. The theatres seem to have operated until late 1995 or early 1996. Grease, Animal House, and Hooper were played on the 3 screens on opening night.

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  6. Is anybody else kind of turned off by the remodel? It really seems like the remodel sucked whatever personality this mall had out of it.

    Always sad watching the middle class malls die.

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    Jeff Reply:

    @Keith,

    I agree the remodel sucks! HH looked much better before they installed the tacky carpeting and tunky looking food court sign.

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    Brian Reply:

    @Keith, I agree with you 110%! I thought the mall lost a LOT of character when the tile floor was taken up, the marquee was taken down at the food court, and all of the fountains were taken out. A lot of other things have made this mall feel “sanitized”, and I hated all of it.

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  7. http://www.hickoryharlem.com/ is a site someone created referring to the place as “Hickory Harlem” with lots of photos. One negative impression I got the last time I drove to the mall and went in was due to signs stating that bait cars were placed around the property. It’s the only mall where I’ve seen such a sign, and it’s definitely not a positive thing to see while entering the parking area around the mall.

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    Ally Reply:

    @Chris, oh, that’s GOOD!!!! Sad state of affairs in that mall….

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  8. Did anyone else beside me like the gaudy 80s food court sign?

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    Jeff Reply:

    @Pseudo3D,

    Compaired to the current sign, YES!…lol

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    Holden Caulfield Reply:

    @Pseudo3D, I really liked the food court sign. I think this mall is very nice and airy. I believe in the right hands it has potential. I was I had the funds to take a stab at it. There is a wonderful canvas to work with.

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  9. Nice looking mall. Very airy. This is the least tacky CBL remodel I’ve ever seen.

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  10. what was the Toys r us near the mall like?

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    Kirb Reply:

    @daniel fife,
    I never ventured into the Toys R’ Us, but from what I can remember the exterior was never renovated. It looked like a late 70s or early 80s store. Now from what I can tell it’s a Best Buy, which moved from a dying shopping center across the street.

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    matt Reply:

    @Kirb
    Yeah the Toys R’ Us was freaking huge. Like the aisles looked as long as they do at the wal*mart. My first bicycle came from there, not to mention a bunch of Atari/NES/SNES games

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    Kirb Reply:

    @matt,
    Wish I had ventured in there before it closed… it’s amazing how one takes for granted things until they are gone… like the 80s. Now I sit around wishing for the good old days…lol.

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    Brian Reply:

    @Kirb, I can remember it had a long entryway across the front of the store, which for an 8 year old just made it better once you got into the main area of the store. Many a NES game was bought there!

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    Lou P. Reply:

    To be sure, the old Hickory Hollow Toys ‘R Us was massive. At one point in the 1980s they sold video games in an interesting way, where you would take a piece of paper with the game’s name/bar code on it to the front, pay for it, and then pick up the game from an enclosed room where all of the games were kept. It was sort of like how Service Merchandise operated in that era, only without the magic conveyor belt.

    I imagine this helped cut down considerably on theft, but it also meant not having to worry about shelf space for the bulky cartridge games of the era. But, for a kid with a big imagination, that video game room was the equivalent of Fort Knox.

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  11. Well, I moved to Antioch in ’81 when I was 3 three and even graduated AHS c/0 ’96, so I basically grew up with this mall and even worked there! I left for college in ’97 and have been back only once (in the middle of the remodel in ’02). The Antioch area has been in decline since the early 90′s with “gangs” and such (or as much as gangs as suburban HS kids can be)… around the time of the last remodel in ’93 (the entire mall was remodeled during the Dillard’s wing expansion). My memories of the mall before the ’93 remodel remember a mall that was warm and inviting. i.e. lots of 70′s and 80′s touches around the place like wood, plants, neon, carpet etc. You can still see some of it in the ’01 pics but it was much stronger then. The video arcade was called “goldmine” and i still remember playing some classics like Afterburner, Dragons Lair, and Kung Fu, Mortal Combat and Pit Fighter. The theater in the mall left in the 80s and was briefly a gym. Maybe I am nostalgic because I have younger kid memories of the place, but the current iteration looks like a cold and sterile version of its old self. I spent alot of my folks $$ at the Toys r us, it was an old skool built in 83-84 and had was where I bought my first Nintendo and supersoaker.

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    matt Reply:

    @Alex

    How about those curtains between the screens at the cinema before the first renovation? That quintessential 70s mixture of olive, orange, and brown lmao i miss that so bad

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    Alex Reply:

    @matt,

    Don’t forget the plush red carpeting all over everything… the walls, seats, etc.

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    Lou P. Reply:

    @matt, I saw some of my very first movies as a young kid at Hickory Hollow Mall, with Gremlins in particular standing out as an early memory there. And, yes, the vintage color scheme was certainly era-appropriate, as comical as it might be in hindsight.

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    matt Reply:

    @Alex
    And yeah they always had the hottest games, After Burner, Gauntlet, Contra, Out Run, Spy Hunter (cockpit with the fuckin illuminated pushbuttons on the steering wheel for the weapons) Paperboy, Vindicators… I could go on forever
    You need to check out MAME or MAME32 if you havent already, all those childhood memories from the Gold Mine will come flooding back

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    Brian Reply:

    @Alex, By the time I got there, the arcade had changed to “TILT” (late 80s-90s)

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  12. The theatres didn’t leave until the mid 1990s, as I posted earlier because they were still running movie times ads until late 1995 or early 1996, as I found when doing research on Nashville theatres a few years ago. The mall theatres were located in the north side of the mall next to the westernmost entrance on that side (closest to Sears). The grand opening ad for the theatre showed the mall as just having the wing with Sears to Castner-Knott with Cain-Sloan on the south side, with no “protrusion” for the JCPenney or that wing since it wasn’t built until later.

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  13. I think they made the renovations look even more cold and sterile than before, at least the wood trimmings on the railings and that old food court sign had some appeal, now it’s just a plain looking mall.

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  14. While I don’t think the mall itself was affected, this footage is from the Interstate exit next to the mall… amazing. The creek which runs near the mall is way over its banks.
    And apparently for those interested, some of the roads and parking lots at the Cool Springs Galleria (the dominate mall in Nashville) were flooded, and the old Harding Mall site (now a Wal-Mart) was flooded out…

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  15. Ok, now that Opry Mills is underwater and probably gonna be closed for the remainder of the year, here’s my proposal.

    1). Raze the entire Opry Mills complex and bring back Opryland USA Theme Park.

    2). Push CBL to either sell Hickory Hollow entirely to Simon or go into a 50/50 partnership.

    3). Relocate all Opry Mills tenants to Hickory Hollow and the surrounding complex.

    This brings a Theme Park back to Nashville, helps in a huge way to revitalize Antioch, and frankly EVERYBODY wins.

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  16. being in Antioch for 25 of my 30 years, I probably visited this place about 100 times or more, mostly in it’s heyday. I remember when KB Toys was Circus World, the funky 70′s typesetting of the blue outdoor Caine-Sloan logo, the arcade – man, the arcade… when it was a Gold Mine, it had all the hit games and even a few cool weird ones, and after it became a Tilt it still had all the hot games for another 5-10 years. Last time I was in the mall maybe 2 yrs ago I walked by only to see it was nothing but ticket-redemption games and cranes, and apparently it’s totally gone now. Thank God for MAME, it’s not the same but at brings some of my best childhood memories back.

    I think this mall “jumped the shark” after Morrisons closed down. We’d eat there like 2-3x a month mostly for their chicken & dumplings. But there was still the awesome food court, Mr Bulky, Ruby Tuesday, and the better stores stuck it out for a good while like EB, Blockbuster Music, Babbages, even Hot Topic – though that place definitely missed the end of the mall’s peak by a couple years at least. Apparently all those are gone now, just like Opryland, (and now the hotel’s f”ked too though I don’t think many people would miss Opry Mills if the flood did it in) all the good/fun places in nashville are gone, or going away. The last mall left that I’ll bother driving to is snobby-ass M@GH and they don’t even have anything to eat other than cookies and ice cream.

    The entire Hickory Hollow area has basically turned into a mini-detroit. There’s only 1-2 sit-down restaurants left from a late 80′s peak of maybe 10-12… o’charleys which is terrible there, and red lobster which is mostly dilapidated. Over half the stores in the area are vacant or transient stores that last a year tops. The place simply got overrun by thugs and gangbangers, of all colors, and various “colors”.

    f*k it, im finding a new place to live. ive got so many great memories from this city and especially this mall but there’s probably not any more good ones to be gained here

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    Alex Reply:

    @matt,

    I worked at the Jarman shoe store while in HS… I dont even think the chain is around anymore. Did you ever go to the pizza place before Sbarro, Picnic Pizza, i think? I think it was a family operation. Regardless, it is sad to think how bad it has gotten, “little Detroit” is a good comparison. When I left in ’97, the area was still doing pretty well, but it seems like it went downhill fast. Morrison’s must have closed around then, I think between there and Chopstix were most of my meals while I worked there.

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    matt Reply:

    @Alex,
    Nope I don’t remember it, i didn’t eat much pizza back then and if I wasnt there with my visiting grandparents to eat at morrisons, then I usually got chick fil-a, mcd’s or long john’s at the food court. I have vague memories of some place where the walls were decorated with red hexagonal tiles and i think there were globe lamps, i cant remember what it was but either i ate there alot, or was in line waiting for a parent or whoever to order… i always really liked the way that place looked, any idea what it was?
    i wish i had eaten at the cookie store more, i cant remember if it was good or not. (at least there’s still christie cookie – best chocolate chip in the f’in world) id always get ice cream, i think i liked swensons more than DQ but i got it from both places.. IIRC, swensons seemed to be out of the way while dq was right in the food court, thats probably why it left many years before the mall had even begun to slow in sales & vacancy was usually zero. and then id spend at least a half-roll of grandpa’s quarters at the arcade.
    in my mallrat years wehn i usually went with friends instead of family and was spending my own money we always hit the food court (always before mr bulkys, heh) and i pretty much always got mcd’s or rarely sbarro, but they were/are too expensive. i liked Mcd’s food so damn much back then that i took chick-fila and LJS for granted… like I figured they’d always be around, and missed alot of opportunities to eat there and other long-gone places that were much better.. i remember walking by chopstix it always smelled so good but i wasn’t into chinese food until near the end of high school and if it was still around then i wouldnt have known what to order. i never even tried the greek place or steak escape either… theres rumors of McD’s putting something addictive in their food, I wouldnt doubt it

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    Joey Reply:

    @Alex, and @ matt

    The Pizza place that was in Hickory Hollow mall BEFORE Sbarro was Picnic Pizza. The original Owners Sal Oliveri and My Dad Angelo Opened a place on Bell Road at the Murfreesboro Rd Intersection in Dec 1999 and is still in operation. Its Called Angelos Picnic Pizza. Its now owned by my brother and is just as good. Angelo Passed away, but Sal opened a place for his daughters in Nov 2010 call Salvo’s Pizza in Smyrna . ( http://www.salvopizza.com).

    It was my family and I have lots of Pictures and memories of Hickory Hollow and It said to see it whither away.

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    Tom Reply:

    @matt,

    Actually a “real” arcade has opened up in the same location – http://gamegalaxyarcade.com/ Lots of modern and classic games, plus some consoles. I’ve been meaning to check it out, but honestly, the last time I was in the HH area, I didn’t want to get out of my car.

    Sad, as I used to live in Antioch in the 90s and it was nice enough. These days, not so much.

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    Ally Reply:

    @matt,

    I lived in Antioch from 1995-98, but you couldn’t pay me to live there now.

    Oh, the early years of Hickory Hollow…. I remember only getting to go there a time or two before graduating and leaving Columbia in ’83, but when I came back for my brother’s wedding in 1986 (when he lived behind Target out there), I couldn’t wait to get “in the spirit” at HH. It was “da bomb” in those days, and I remember the excitement of going there. My sister worked @ Cain-Sloan at the time; the arcade had a sportscard shop across from it (now a barber shop), and right up the way outside of Sears was Berman’s- you could smell the leather as you walked by.

    The entire Antioch area at the time was thriving- now, everything’s closed- it’s just nasty out there; even the big movieplex behind Kroger’s plaza (forgot the name but I remember when it was new) has closed, I think it’s a school now. The Gold’s Gym in that plaza became a Nautilus gym, then closed completely. {{Anyone remember “Xanadu”???}} There was another sportscard shop in the plaza across the street (where Bailey’s is); once it closed and I moved closer to town, I quit going out there so much; with the closure of Starwood and a lot of the retail out there, it got more and more depressing. :-(

    The last time I was out that way was earlier this year, before I moved to Dallas- and the only reason was to go to Game Galaxy- I took my buddy with me, we parked ascloseaswecould to the rear entrance by Sears, and would go straight to the arcade, which IS really cool, actually- they’ve got a lot of the old pinball and video games, and it’s still only a quarter. We walked around the mall a time or two, and I was just sad.

    The parking lot at HH hasn’t been patched or paved in years; the strip where TGI Friday’s and the $1 theater is needs to be completely razed, with the possible exception of those two businesses. And what was the shoe store beside TGI’s that had the basketball court outside? It still stands empty, weeds growing around the abandoned court. It just looks really sad…. Toys R Us, Circuit City, Pier 1, all gone. Starwood’s demise didn’t help matters any…

    Coming back from a Dallas visit this past May, I saw the Opry area devastation from the air, and that sealed the deal. I was so depressed, because it’s like all the fun places in Nashville really ARE gone, or I thought so at least…..

    Thanks for letting me ramble- Nashville was a big part of my younger days, and I truly miss it….just reminiscing, I guess… Don’t get me started on the 1970′s-era 100 Oaks or Church Street… ;-)

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    CowboyTim Reply:

    @Ally
    The “big movieplex behind Kroger’s plaza” you mentioned is being converted… into a mosque! Allah be praised! LOL

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  17. I never thought I would feel such sadness from seeing a mall die, but like many others, HH and Antioch for that matter were both huge parts of my childhood.

    Many memories originated from that mall, everything from skipping school and playing in the arcade to tasting my first Butterfinger Blizzard at the DQ in the mall food court.

    When I was in middle and high school, I thought it would be great to see Nashville grow up and become a larger metropolitan area….I guess be careful what you wish for.

    I don’t know if I am the only one who thinks this way, but as much as Antioch has changed, to me it still has that same “home” feeling as it did when I was growing up in the 80′s and 90′s

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    CAW Reply:

    @Jeff,

    I agree, Antioch still does have the same “home” feel that it always has. The problem with the area is the media and Metro Government. Metro Goverernment has ignored and abandoned the people in Antioch for years, guess we were not as important to people in other areas. The media tarnished the areas reputtion by overexagerating the truth, and running negative stories over and over again, if you notice, the same problems have occured in every other mall in Nashville, however, the media doesn’t stay on them much, or even give as much detail about what happen, as they do when something, or the few things that happened at Hickory Hollow. I have worked at both HH and Rivergate and Rivergate is much worse than HH, however it is close to Hendersonville so they have the protect its image.
    As people have already mentioned, the remodel sucks, the mall looked much better before, they even took half the food court away.
    I personally feel that there are too many urban wear stores in the area, the Antioch/Hickory Hollow area/demograhics is not even all that urban as the mall is, people from all over Nashville come to HH simply for the urban wear, while all the other fashions that people in Antioch may want are not even availible there. One thing that people who are so afraid of the mall, or find negative about the mall fail to mention the source of the problem. The Store Phat Kaps used to hold concerts in the center court of the mall which attracted teens from all over Nashville, they also would have rappers come to the store as well as titans foot ball players, so it became a popular teen hang out for teens across Nashville, and yes it did it attract problems, etc,…. The store Phat Kap moved across the street from the mall, and took none of the blame in any of the problems of the mall…
    I feel that if those who live in the Antioch, and those who remember how the mall was in the 80′s and 90′s would continue to support the area and speak positively about it and work together to bring it back to how it used to be it would work wonders for the area and city as a whole. At least Mayor Dean is taking interest in it, no other Mayor has even given a care about the area.

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    CAW Reply:

    @Jeff,

    Also, I too was excited to see Nashville grow as a Metropolitian city, however it is not growing right. There is no reason why HH, Belevue, not even areas of Hermitage, Madison, Harding Place, once Harding Mall and other ares declining. Most Metro cities build up their existing areas and connect them, as well as the areas surronding the city areas. Nashville’s, as whole, biggest enemy are the areas of Hendersonville, Franklin, and Mt. Juliet., and Murfreesboro to some extent. Neither of those cities are even interested in the “metropolitian” idea, they are more worried about building up their own little independent areas, rather than just merging with Nashville to create a large city, similar to Atlanta, with several differerent parts.

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    Ally Reply:

    @Jeff, I know what you mean… sometimes Columbia still feels the same way to me…. :-)

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  18. HH was the first mall I ever went to when I moved to Nashville in 1982. Back then, it was such a nice place to shop. I remember every year from 1982-1987 when the school year was about to start, my family would take our trip to the mall, and I would get annoyed when my parents made me try clothes on that I loathed. We would spend what seemed like hours in Cain Sloan arguing about clothes. Then after we were done, my parents would give us money and let us wander around. It’s hard to imagine letting your kids run around there free, today. The first place I would hit was Morrisons Nut House to buy my weekly supply of Gummy Cola Bottles. Then it was off to Circus World to check out what new Atari or Coleco games had been relesed. Then I would blow the rest of my money in The Gold Mine, back when they had Sinistar and Robotron and Subroc 3-D. When our family would meet back up later, we’d usually catch a movie. The only movie I ever saw in the indoor theater was Raising Arizona (AND I WALKED OUT OF IT!!! I was 12, I didn’t quite get the movies humor until I got older).

    I was the Asst. Manager of the Babbages there up until a few months before the store closed down. Even in 2001, the writing was on the wall – I’d spend most of my morning shifts in a completely empty store.

    On a more melancholy note – the love tester that was in the food court the first time I ever came to Hickory Hollow Mall back in 1982, is STILL THERE to this very day! Every time I see it, I still get a lingering whiff of the coffee bean shop it used to reside in until it’s closing in the ealy 90′s remodeling.

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  19. This was my favorite mall when I was in high school and even up until about 8 years ago I still preferred it to some of the other malls in Nashville. This mall was so busy on weekends that you would have to drive around the parking lot forever to find a space, and the food court used to be crazy busy everyday.

    This mall had all the great stores of the 80′s and 90′s…Merry Go Round, Chess King, DJ’s Fashion Center, County Seat, Attivo, World Bazaar, B. Dalton Books, Gadzooks, Spencer Gifts, Gap, Express, Structure, The Limited, Limited Too, Bath and Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Topkapi, Lane Bryant, Casual Corner, Petite Sophisticate, Lerner New York, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Kay Bee Toys, K & K Toys, Northern Reflections, Waldenbooks, Rue 21, Gymboree, Childrens Place, PacSun, Eddie Bauer, Wild Pair, 5-7-9, Bakers Shoes, Stuarts, SunCoast, Record Bar, Walgreens, Body Shop, U.S. Male, Kirklands, Bombay Company, Rave, Deb, and American Eagle.

    Hickory Hollow also was the first mall in Nashville to have a Buckle, Aeropostale, Charlotte Russe, Body Shop, and White Barn Candle Company.

    Things started going downhill for Hickory Hollow around 2004. JC Penney closed and moved to Providence Place in Mt. Juliet and was replaced by Steve and Barry’s which only lasted about three years. Lots of the stores at Hickory Hollow began to be known as “clearance” stores around this time as well. In November 2006, American Eagle closed suddenly. 2007 started the beginning of the end for Hickory Hollow…The Limited and Limited Too closed shortly after Christmas 2006, Suncoast closed when the company filed bankruptcy, Bath and Body Works relocated to the Macy’s wing and downsized their store drastically eliminating the White Barn Candle Company merchandise. Gap Kids closed (Gap remained open for about 2 years after the kids store closed). For the next year it was a string of closings every month…Cato moved out of the mall, Body Shop, Yankee Candle, 5-7-9, Carlton Cards, Whitehall Jewelers, Rave, PhatKaps, MensWearhouse, KayBee Toys, Bombay Company, Hallmark, Stride Rite, Trade Secret, Gap, and Buckle all closed. 2009 didn’t see a lot of activity in the mall with the exception of Victoria’s Secret, Express, Dillards, and Linens N Things leaving, but at the beginning of 2010 thee was another mass exit of stores when New York and Company, Lane Bryant, Hot Topic, The Shoe Department, Rack Room Shoes, Waldenbooks, Childrens Place, Romancing the Stone, Hibbett Sports, McDonalds, Chick Fil A, SubWay, Sbarro, Sunglass Hut, and Aeropostale all closed during January and March.

    This mall is just depressing now. All that is left are Charlotte Russe (this is the dirtiest store I have ever seen), Ashley Stewart, City Gear, Man Alive, Payless Shoes, Foot Locker, Foot Action, Champs, Bath and Body Works, Wet Seal, Journeys, Underground Station, Claire’s, Electronic Express, Famous Labels, Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision, Fred Meyer Jewelers, Zales, Marks and Morgan Jewelers, Lids, Macy’s, Sears, and a lot of local urban wear and cell phone stores, It is scary to walk in there because it seems like there are mall employees than shoppers.

    Since Opry Mills is closed due to the flooding in May 2010, and doesn’t seem to be going to re-open, it would make sense that all the stores from Opry Mills would move back to Hickory Hollow.

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  20. Last I heard they wanted to convert an anchor into a community center of sorts…

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  21. what is ths mall like and what was the Toys r us near it like, what did it look like?

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  22. This Sears is passing away. That could be another huge death knell. Why is Macy’s still here!?

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  23. Yep, Sears is closing. I’m shocked they didn’t close Bellevue Sears as well. Im also surprised Macy’s hasn’t moved to Murfreesboro or Mt Juliet, Macy’s doesn’t have any other locations south or east.

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  24. Macy’s just announced that they will also be closing their store at the mall, leaving it with no anchor stores.

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  25. Uhh, CAW, I don’t know where you are getting that Rivergate mall is worse than Hickory Hollow. I have worked at both. I’m 39 years old and I can remember when HH used to be nice to shop at. Rivergate mall, is dying slowly but it is very safe to shop at. The Anchor stores are what’s keeping Rivergate alive, with Penneys, Macy’s and Dillard’s being high volume stores. HH is dangerous. Nothing but gangs and unsupervised teens roam the mall. There are always carjackings, car thefts and fights and shootings at HH. That’s why HH has security guards walking around everywhere. There has only been one shooting in the history of Rivergate mall,and one time a little girl disapeared from the mall parking lot when her mom turned to put things in the car,but no one even remembered seeing the girl,so people think the mom made the whole story up. HH is still awful. I went there in Dec 2011, and it was crazy that I had to tell my daughter that since we were going to HH that she had to hold my hand,walk quickly and leave her purse in the trunk. As soon as we entered the parking lot, there was nothing but urban,gang looking teens walking around looking in cars, teens hanging out in cars with blasting rap music,and then of course there was the wolf whistling,filthy language yelled in our direction as we entered the mall. Nothing is like that at Rivergate.

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  26. It was confirmed on June 1st that Hickory Hollow Mall will close on June 30th.

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  27. Hickory Hollow isn’t dead.

    It evicted most of the stores (all but four) and is changing the name of the mall to “Global Mall at the Crossings” to become an “international mall”. We’ll see if it works!

    http://www.newschannel5.com/story/20538321/hickory-hollow-mall-gets-a-new-name-chance-at-a-new-start

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